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Why Is My Succulent Growing A Long Stem? – 2 Possible Reasons

Everyone in my family loves succulents. They are easy to take care of and are forgiving even for those of us who are not blessed with a green thumb. Better yet, I’m speaking from experience when I say that one of these plants will look adorable in any part of a home.

Due to how they’ve evolved, they’re also versatile with the unique ability to thrive both in outdoor and indoor environments (regardless of how hot or dry it gets) and will look great together in container gardens or on their own.

You’ll actually be hardpressed to come across an individual who does not gush over how easy and pretty these plants will look in any home.

That said, what most plant parents won’t tell you is that you might have to deal with your succulent plant changing shape. The fact you’re here on this guide means that’s what happened, and you’ve been left wondering, “why is my succulent growing a long stem?

Well, you’ve come to the right place, and this detailed guide bears all the answers.

Why Is My Succulent Growing A Long Stem
Succulent is growing long stem from center, what is it – via Reddit

Why is My Succulent Growing a Long Stem?

When I grew my first succulent, I thought these tiny plants didn’t need too much space in my home. I was also unaware of the fact that they sometimes tend to stretch out and grow big. Let us get to know the causes below:

The Natural Growth Pattern Of Your Plant

The first but least common reason why your succulent is growing a long stem is that it may be the natural growth pattern of the succulent. I’ve personally come across hundreds of succulent plants that grew long stems, and the only possible reason behind it was their natural growth process.

Depending on how you feel about the long stem in question, this may either be good or bad news. With that in mind, if the long stem that the plant has developed is bothering you, you may want to consider pruning the plant.

The Stem Grew In Search of Light

The second but most common reason your succulent is growing a long stem might have to do with sunlight. We all know that succulents are lovers of direct sunlight and usually will only grow beautiful and healthy if they get a sufficient amount of sunlight on a daily basis.

With that in mind, if your succulent plants do not get sufficient sunlight, they will usually start to stretch and grow long stems that can help them reach the light source.

This second scenario will usually occur if you’ve placed your succulents indoors and in a location where they’re not getting sufficient light. Regarding the best solution to fix the issue, most experts recommend keeping your succulents outdoors.

If you must have yours indoors, then place it near a window that allows the plant to get sufficient light throughout the day. What’s more? Do not forget to constantly rotate the plant so all of its sides get equal amounts of sunlight during the day.

Why Is My Succulent Growing A Long Stem 2
Long stem – What do I do? – via Reddit

How To Recognize A Stretched Succulent

Now that you know the causes of your succulent growing a long stem, it’s in your best interest to try your best and catch the situation before it exacerbates. Lucky for you, your succulent plant will showcase multiple signs when it isn’t getting sufficient light. Here are several you should look out for.

The first signs will begin subtle, such as the succulent leaves pointing down as if dozing off. Usually, plants curl their foliage to award themselves a larger leaf area that can take full advantage of the indirect sunlight hitting them. If you notice this happening with your succulent plant, it’s time to find a window in your home with access to direct sunlight and place it there.

If such a window doesn’t exist in your home, another simpler way you can help out your succulent plant is using a grow light. Logn ago, these lights used to be quite expensive and large, but they’ve currently become more affordable, smaller, and readily available.

If you miss the first sign and fail to move the succulent toward the light, the next step is it’ll begin to slowly lean towards wherever the light source is. Once it begins its search for light, the succulent will start using all its energy to grow faster instead of producing new leaves.

How To Fix A Succulent Growing A Long Stem

Unfortunately, you cannot undo the process once your succulent has been stretched out. The only chance you get to do something about it is if you catch it early using one of the steps I’ve described above.

If one of the succulent’s sides has already grown its long stem, still move the plant to the sunniest and brightest window in your home. Of course, this won’t cause the succulent’s stretched part to un-stretch, but if you expose the other side to direct sunlight, it should grow long as well and result in a more balanced look.

If you do not appreciate how the long stem looks, the other option is to cut down your succulent and propagate it.

Trimming your succulent plant is a more drastic measure.

Also worth noting, as you prepare to cut the elongated stem, ensure you use clean scissors or anything you can utilize comfortably. In addition, ensure the pair of scissors is clean so that your succulent plant doesn’t get infected in the process.

Before replanting the cuttings, you’ll also need to ensure that you cut them into smaller sizes if need be, so they’re easy to plant. Better yet, once planted, water them thoroughly and appropriately so they can flourish.

Final Thoughts

Digest and use all the lessons you’ve learned in today’s guide about possible reasons why your succulent is growing a long stem. I also hope you’ve taken note of the guide on how to notice early on that your succulent plant’s stem is about to grow long. But if you ever accidentally (or otherwise) miss the signs and the damage is done, all hope isn’t lost. Simply propagate the long stem from the rosette, leaves, or stem.